Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Finger’s Worth of Truth and Worry

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but it’s not for lack of topics that concern me of late. 

And it’s certainly not for lack of desire to be engaged either. In fact, often the degree of lunacy that makes itself apparent these days is more than enough to ensnare my incredulity, as well as my nearly rabid determination to change things for the better. These days, this is particularly true here in the US, certainly since the questionably-enabled ascension of the newest occupant of the White House.

In fact, so moved was I to do something demonstrably in protest after the Inauguration of this ignorant clown, that I joined my youngest daughter in the Women’s March held in St. Petersburg, Florida, a sister march to the one that drew such an enormous throng in Washington, DC.

Under a sleek blue sky, within scent of the Gulf of Mexico, I chanted at the top of my lungs call-and-response style, mixing my voice, my outrage and need for justice, with the voices of the thousands with whom we marched that day. 

And somewhat to my glad discovery, much as I experienced at an LGBTQI Pride event awhile back, the same tired feet that carried me to protests on the steps of Columbia University in the days of the Viet Nam War, fell deftly into rhythm and remembered the forceful, raucous and exuberant way that democracy is still done here in the so-called “home of the brave.”

But aside from marches and giving money, aside from writing to, and dropping in on, the offices of our legislators, how do we begin to critique that which is nearly unimaginable – that somehow, a crude, narcissistic, bald-faced misogynist who brags about grabbing women’s genitalia has weaseled, connived and outright lied his way into the Oval Office?

The truth is that I feel violated. 

I’m heartsick and embarrassed that my country has allowed this person to try to cheapen and demean us by his unscrupulous, bigoted, hate-filled example.  

How long can the leader of a country such as ours be allowed to ridicule the disabled, defy the science of climate change, stir violence against a religious minority, or call for the upheaval of immigrant families without tainting the innocence and birthright of our children and degrading the very self-image of our daughters?

Amid this dire mayhem, as this thug who would be king dares dangle us over the abyss, I write about human sexuality, and so I’m drawn to comment on the amusing myth that has plagued this little White House man since his misbegotten campaign: do little hands really a tiny penis betray?

For those who need reminding, I’m referring to an unfortunate campaign-trail exchange between the now-president and one of his contenders for the job. At the time, the president’s comparatively small hand size was referenced by that competitor as a clear and ineluctable sign that his sexual prowess must surely be lacking – as if hand size or penis size or any other body part size had anything whatsoever to do with one’s fitness to be leader of the free world.

Indeed, the comment was only meant to demean him; ironically, in much the same way that he’s fully and demonstrably capable of demeaning everyone else.

Of course, uncowed by the risk of regaling us with way too much revolting information, the candidate turned little White House man hastened to assure us on national media, no less, that there was, and is, nothing whatsoever lacking in his penile endowment department.

If there are any folks out there breathing air who really care, I’m sure his robust and emphatic declaration set their minds blissfully to rest. I’m totally sympathetic to the fact that, at the end of the day, all that blather about hand size being inextricably bound up with penis size can be way too taxing to contemplate.

Still, while most women, I suspect, have never paid much attention at all to the relative hand size of a prospective male sex partner, the spectre of such perceived sexual inadequacy plagues countless males nonetheless, and anything that might be construed as a telltale sign of any penile insufficiency can, of course, be cause for their considerable concern.

In the case of our Commander in Chief, just think of it: given the routinely high level of a president’s visibility nowadays, - you know, what with signing lunatic Executive Orders and holding them up like some preschooler for the all the world to see - how could such a man keep his supposed penile shortcomings under wraps? Is wearing oven mitts in the office, in this case, in the Oval Office, an advisable presidential strategy for keeping such a secret secure?


But then, there IS the science to be factored in here… because while total hand size per se doesn’t seem to have much to do with it, as it turns out, there is scientific, quantifiable evidence that suggests a real correlation between penis size and the length of some men’s index fingers!


Yes. Really. I kid you not.

To be specific, some pretty interesting research in the field indicates that in vertebrate species, that is, species with backbones - including us – fetal Hox genes, which are genes that help regulate limb, finger and toe development, also help regulate development of the penis.

In fact, Dr. E. Spryropoulos and colleagues reported in the journal Urology in 2002 that - depending on the age of the man - there’s a statistically significant, positive relationship between total penile length and the length of a man’s index fingers. Apparently, this is only true for men under the age of forty, however.

Age constraints notwithstanding, though, who in their lay person’s mind would ever have guess it?  

And now that I ponder it, although it’s a little hard to judge finger length when the hands to which they’re attached are gesticulating spasmodically about the virtues of building a wall, it’s possible, I suppose that the digits under review are a bit on the shorter, stubbier side.

But finally, given the hierarchy of risk factors we all must endure in the age of the thug who would be king, there’s only one reason any of this is worth even a second of our time, and that is if there’s any relationship at all between the length of this guy’s index fingers and his capacity for even a shred of morally defensible leadership.

I wonder…

Photo Credits

photo credit: Mobilus In Mobili <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/52257493@N00/32338565971">Women's March on Washington</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: Geoff Livingston <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/9397412@N06/32777858446">We the People</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a  photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/126377022@N07/14757615466">Image from page 949 of "American specimen book of type styles : complete catalogue of printing machinery and printing supplies, 1912" (1912)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/">(license)</a>

photo credit: Lorie Shaull <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11020019@N04/33340396865">Stop The War On Women</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: MTSOfan <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8628862@N05/31731507103">The Way to Fight</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Singh! As always, you are amazing! I love your recent writing about you know who..."He's orange, he's gross, he lost the popular vote!! That is one of my favorites from the March on Washington in Jan. Yessss!! I was there!! Incredibly moving and probably the most significant event I have attended in my life. Aside from Human Sexuality class of course!! Lol!! I know that my experience in your classroom and at Springfield in general motivated me to participate in social change on many levels. Also, I recently applied to school for a Masters of Social Work at East Tennessee state-Asheville Cohort. Thank you for inspiration and encouragement!! Love and Respect!!
    Marnie Holmes--BS Human services class of 2013